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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Seafood prices go up

KOTA KINABALU - The wholesale price of seafood in the state capital and surrounding areas has increased by about 60 per cent compared to last year.

One of the reasons is the dwindling catch of fishermen who have seen a reduction of about 50 per cent in the last four months as compared to the same period last year.

“Our catch in March, April, May and June last year was about 100 metric tonnes, but this year, we are averaging only about 50 metric tonnes a month,” Kota Kinabalu Fishing Boat Owners Association (KKFBOA) chairman Simon Hong, said.

Speaking to the media here, Hong said one of the reasons attributed to the reduced catch was encroachment by foreign fishing vessels into Malaysian waters to fish.

Hong said the issue of encroachment by foreign fishing vessels, mostly from Vietnam, is a serious matter as they sometimes used destructive methods of fishing.

“Therefore, we at KKFBOA support Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s call to chase out all foreign fishing vessels in Malaysian waters,” he said.

KKFBOA hopes that the government will take immediate action to flush out foreign fishing vessels so that there will be less competition for the locals, he stressed.

Hong added that shortage of manpower was also one reason why the fishing boats were bringing in less catch.

Their crew are usually foreigners, but because of the low exchange rate for the Ringgit, these people prefer to work in their own home countries, he lamented.

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